As Bengaluru received 11.4 cm of rainfall in just 90 minutes between 8 and 9.30 pm on Tuesday night, many locations — including the underpass which held me captive — were flooded.
Published: 19th May 2022 07:53 AM | Last Updated: 19th May 2022 07:53 AM | A+ A A-
BBMP workers carry food packets on a tractor on Wednesday to distribute to residents of Vaddarapalya near Horamavu after Tuesday’s heavy downpour in Bengaluru. (Photo | Shriram BN)
BENGALURU: “Help…. help… help…help……..!” I was pleading as I stood in knee-deep water, trying to push my car back after unknowingly driving into the flooded underpass connecting Sahakara Nagar with Canara Bank Layout. And help came unconditionally from absolute strangers riding on sheer humanity — nothing else. It was around 10 pm, pitch-dark, and describing the rains as “heavy” would be an understatement. And there was no sign of the water receding.
As Bengaluru received 11.4 cm of rainfall in just 90 minutes between 8 and 9.30 pm on Tuesday night, many locations — including the underpass which held me captive — were flooded. How did I get into this? Thanks to the torrential downpour and low visibility as I drove, I failed to see the danger ahead, until I got into it. With restricted vision, car wipers unable to match the rain’s intensity, and limited reach of the headlights, I failed to gauge the level of water in the underpass.
Drenched to the bone, my mobile non-functional, my car starting to get filled with water, and not a soul in sight to respond to my calls for help, I became aware of the helpless situation I had got into. As I tried to come to terms with the foolishness of venturing into an underpass in such torrential rain, I spotted two youths rushing towards me from the other side of the underpass, which was much safer than where I was.
‘A stormy night when strangers became saviours’
The water was almost waist-high, and the two youths were on the side where there was no flooding. They were on a two-wheeler and could have just carried on to wherever they were going. But they spotted me, got off the two-wheeler, and rushed to my help, getting into three-feet-deep water to reach me at the other end.
Within seconds, they were next to me to help me push my car backwards to a reasonably safe point where there was no flooding — and from where the flooded part in the underpass looked like a mini lake. The duo returned to their two-wheeler by again wading through the waist-deep water. They informed me that they were on their way to deliver mobile phones to someone.
I was touched by their gesture. They put themselves at risk, crossing from one end of a flooded underpass to another to help someone who was as much a stranger to them as they were to me. The two youths then left. My car and I were out of the water. But I was still in a mess. I was around two kilometres from home and there was no way to communicate to my family about my predicament.
It was then that I realised that my car wouldn’t start. At that point, I saw a car approaching the underpass cautiously. Again strangers, three of them probably in their twenties. They saw me and my vehicle, understood my plight, and asked me to get into their vehicle as it was still raining heavily. Despite my reluctance in entering the car because of my drenched condition, concerned about spoiling the neat upholstery, they urged me to get in nevertheless.
One of them even offered me his phone to inform my family. That done, and still hopeful of reaching home in my own car, I thanked them and got out of their vehicle. I got into my car to give it one last try. It didn’t work. Finally, another stranger came along on a two-wheeler. He came to the mouth of the underpass and was turning back on noticing me, my stranded car and the flooding. He then offered to drop me home. How I brought the car back is another story. But when I look back, my nightmarish experience in a flooded underpass was drowned by humanity.
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